Tiny piece of Mars rock brings $1,800 from Rob Elliott's meteorite collection



2015-06-26 12:31:50

Tiny piece of Mars rock brings $1,800 from Rob Elliott's meteorite collection

The exciting Edinburgh space sale also saw the sale of Britain's only pallasite for an impressive $14,900

Rob Elliott's meteorite auction has now been completed (August 17) with the great range of different types of spacerock going under the hammer.

The piece which raised greatest interest was, unsurprisingly, the Hambleton meteorite.

The Hambleton Pallasite was found in 2005 in Hambleton, North Yorkshire. A single mass weighing 17.6kg was found by Rob and Irene Elliott while hunting for meteorites in the county.

Pallasites are extremely rare. They are formed deep within the core/mantle boundary layer of a large asteroid, and account for just 1% of all known meteorites. It was a unique find in the UK, where conditions are famously hostile to meteorite preservation.

Hambleton pallasite meteorite Unique - the Hambleton pallasite meteorite

The Hambleton meteorite has been the subject of a great deal of study at the Planetary and Space Sciences Research Institute at the Open University. The exciting possibility of a potential new mineral recognised within the matrix of Hambleton continues to be explored by scientists.

The main mass (5.8kg - the largest piece of Hambleton in existence), sold for 9,000 ($14,900) and a polished slice weighing 725g brought 2,600.

Perhaps the most remarkable sale, certainly for those unfamiliar with the rarity and value of meteorites was a 0.228g piece of rock which sold for 1,100 against a 750-950 listing.

Nakhlite Martian meteorite The tiny Nakhlite Martian meteorite fragment

This is a tiny fragment of Nakhlite from a 10kg Martian meteorite fall in Alexandria, Egypt, the vast majority of which is locked away for research purposes.

Martian meteorites are extremely rare and usually much more valuable by gram than gold. This one has been extensively researched and studied amid renewed claims of fossilised Martian bacterial lifeforms found within the stony matrix.

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